Here's a good tip: words to investors matter.
The sudden and tragic death of FCA and Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne has immediate consequences for both automakers. While both FCA and Ferrari quickly appointed replacements for Marchionne, his successors are now tasked with ensuring everything continues to go to their predecessor's plans. Louis Camilleri, who previously served on the Ferrari board since 2015, was a confidant of Marchionne, and the two shared a vision for the iconic Italian automaker.
However, Reuters reports that Camilleri that during a meeting with investors to ensure them things are on track to meet midterm targets, he also described Marchionne's goals for 2022 "aspirational." Say what?
"They are aspirational targets. At the capital markets day we will tell you how we plan to get there," he said. "We will also have to disclose potential risks to that, but also significant opportunities that we see going forward."As a direct result of those words, Ferrari's stock fell 8.4 percent last Wednesday. Investors were already somewhat on edge following Marchionne's death, so his successor's recent comments are not exactly helpful.
Marchionne had planned on remaining Ferrari CEO until 2021 but hoped to retire from FCA in 2019. Point being, Ferrari investors were counting on Marchionne's continued leadership for a few more years while FCA was already planning a succession of power.
Remember, it was Marchionne who orchestrated Ferrari's highly successful spin-off from FCA. He also enacted plans to increase annual production from 7,000 vehicles to around 10,000 without sacrificing quality, power, and prestige.
Things have been going very well so far, but now that Marchionne is gone, Camilleri needs to gain the confidence of the Ferrari board and investors alike. It's far too early to tell how things will go, considering Camilleri assumed power on July 21, but we'll have a much clearer picture within a year's time.